Members of the Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theater of Minneapolis shared a dance workshop and a performance with a small group of music and movement aficionados Monday at Park Rapids Area High School.
The event was part of the Park Rapids Area Library’s summer program, focusing on performing arts under the theme “It’s Showtime!”
During the afternoon, several youth and one adult participated in a dance workshop on the auditorium stage. Susana di Palma led them through a series of striking poses, rhythmic movements and stamping patterns, urging them to express emotional attitudes.
“Throw a temper tantrum,” she said before a passage of rapid foot-taps. In another dance move, she suggested thinking of telling someone, “To bed!”
Later, introducing the program, di Palma explained that flamenco comes from the southern region of Spain. Comparing flamenco to the blues, she said the region’s turbulent history influences its traditional music and dance.
Dancers were accompanied by a special type of guitar, clapping and sometimes by castanets. Di Palma noted that in flamenco, the instruments follow the rhythm of the dancer, rather than the other way around.
Costumes included brilliantly colored dresses, hard shoes and in one dance, a fan. Dancers communicated moods shifting rapidly from aggression to flirtation through movement, posture, and facial expression.
Di Palma urged the audience to communicate back, shouting Olé, Eso sí or Guapa (roughly, “Hooray,” “Yeah” and “Beautiful”). Toward the end of the performance, some audience members were invited on stage to try a few dance moves.